CONDITIONS FOR BEING A NEW TESTAMENT WARRIOR
A spiritual warrior must first establish his heart before God. In the above chapter of Deuteronomy, God lays down the conditions for being a warrior in His service. In between exhortations to courage (“do not be afraid of them”) in verses 1 and 8, the Lord requires three things of a warrior before he can successfully take the field of battle: a dedicated house, an enjoyed vineyard, and a consummated marriage.
Beloved, hear the heart of our Lord beckoning you to union with Him in every corner of your soul. As you read these verses, remember that you are God’s house, His vineyard and most importantly His bride (1 Corinthians 3:9; Revelation 21:9-27). He longs to live richly in you, to partake of your life fully and to love you passionately. Know also that God is your dwelling place, vineyard of life and love of your soul. As He consumes and loves more of you, you are then able to consume and love more of Him. Out of this union is birthed “the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews 7:16).
A DEDICATED HOUSE
The dedicated house speaks of our Lordship commitment. This is a commitment that must charge out of our hearts and mouth at the dawn of every new day. Joshua, at the end of his long life of faithful service to God, still renewed this commitment, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). In Nehemiah 12, we read of the walls of Jerusalem being dedicated with gladness and hymns of thanksgiving. The warrior must joyfully dedicate all that he is to all that God is. Before we count ourselves as warriors, let us check our foundation for the marks of true dedication. These marks are gladness, thanksgiving and zeal to follow the Lord of Hosts wherever He may lead.
AN ENJOYED VINEYARD
The enjoyed vineyard speaks of the continuous drawing of our strength from His holy presence within us. Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4). As David gorged himself on the Lord’s presence, so he was able to stand against lions, bears, giants and kings. The same vineyard David partook of is just a heart cry away for us. Those who would be daily warriors for Christ must first be daily partakers of Christ. Seek right now with all of your desire to feast of His vineyard.
A CONSUMMATED MARRIAGE
The consummated marriage speaks of a state of holy union and passion the Lord seeks with His warriors. This is more than abiding. It is high romance with our Lord. It is admittedly rare in occurrence, but it is in these moments of mystical union that God imparts His seed of love anew into our heart. A life will forever change after this encounter. A man can dedicate his heart to his wife. He can also continually abide with her in devoted affection. But, until they are one flesh, their relationship is not consummated. Likewise, we who are the spiritual bride of our Christ must ever cry, “Let his left hand be under my head, And his right hand embrace me” (Song of Solomon 8:3). It is in this burning intimacy that we know our Lord as “Ishi,” which means “my husband” (Hosea 2:16). Oh Lord, let us know you this way now, this very moment!
LOVERS OF GOD
The Deuteronomy passage is clear. Before we can be warriors for God, we must be established as lovers of God. “So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God” (Joshua 23:11). Purpose in your soul right now to draw your heart to God before you draw your sword for Him. (1)
(1) “Rouse The Mighty Men”, daily devotional book, Richard Murray, 1996, Day 11.